29 November 2010

Thanksgiving and Remembering Our Past with Sauerkraut

Busia’s Sauerkraut

This recipe is from my husband’s side of the family, who are Polish American by a couple of generations. I believe it is a rudimentary Bigos. It is best made one to two days prior to serving.

What You Need:
Sauerkraut (Busia used bagged Sauerkraut but I use Sauerkraut from Jars as there is less plastic or additives and is more authentic)

Good Thick Bacon
Sweet Onion
Water or Chicken Broth

Drain the Sauerkraut through a sieve. You can reserve this first juice for those who like their sauerkraut, well, sour. Add cold clean water back into the jar and drain again. Add more water, let sit for a while while you do other things around the house. Drain. Again, add water, and this time after it soaks a while, drain it while squeezing the sauerkraut to get the sour flavor out. The liquids from all this draining are really useless so you can just toss it down your drain.

Dice the bacon and cook until all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

Add some diced sweet onion, your preference how much, I use ¼ of an onion. Caramelize in the bacon fat.

Add the drained sauerkraut, bacon bits, and either water or Chicken Broth, enough to come to the top of the sauerkraut. Cook on low and slow for about an hour to help flavors to blend together, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add crushed (with mortar and pestle) caraway seed, if you like.

Refrigerate for one to two days prior to serving. On the day of serving, heat it on low and slow for at least a half hour to allow the flavors to blend even more.

A Side Note:  The first drained liquid has vitamins and minerals in it from the sauerkraut, which is beneficial to eat. Assuming that you purchased a true sauerkraut that has no artificial flavorings, colorings, preservatives or other nasty additives.

Also, I wanted to explain why it's called "Busia's" Sauerkraut.  Modern day Poles call their Grandmothers "Babcia", however, as my husband's family is Polish by a couple of generations, prior to The Great War, in the Ukraine, Grandmothers were called "Babusia", shortened to "Busia", and sometimes twisted by accent and time to "Buzia" (which actually means "mouth" but I am just glad that they try and are close)...

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my post about "Busia's Mushrooms" http://polishmamaontheprairie.blogspot.com/2010/11/busias-mushrooms.html

Also, please check out my post about the Polish word for Grandmother and all it's variations in the American language http://polishmamaontheprairie.blogspot.com/2010/12/polish-grandmother-babcia-busia-buzia.html

If you liked this recipe, consider making a donation

1 comment:

Mel said...

We totally had polish night last weekend :) It was so fun!